Growing Organic Wine Grapes in The Midwest

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2 Responses

  1. Sabrina Walkosz says:

    We live in north central Illinois on a 3/4 acre homestead. The first year we were here, Japanese beetles ate everything that we would have liked to can for the winter! We ordered up a dozen Ancona ducklings, and have never had any issues since. Granted, this may not work for folks with hundreds or even tens of acres, as you have to keep the ducks from getting to your grape vines, etc.; we use bird netting to wrap them up (The grape clusters, not the ducks), but you never saw such happy, well-fed creatures as those ducks during beetle season. Let them out at dawn, and watch them gobble down beetles that are torpid, on low vegetation or on the ground, as the sun hasn’t warmed the bugs into alert/speedy mode yet. The ducks also do a fabulous job on your weeds, and they never whine about the work, call in sick, or ask for a raise; they give you eggs as a thank-you for all the delicious forage you give them. They don’t scratch the ground around your vines the way chickens do; and another bonus: Ducks are hilarious to watch; such personality. Television drama pales in comparison.

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